body types or somatotypes(endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph), fact or fiction?

The idea that our anatomy is genetically pre-set into one of three categories is not a new subject. Plato mentioned it around 380 BC and in 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche referred to the idea in The Antichrist years before the American psychologist William Sheldon popularised three broad categories of body in the 1940s.
Body type or somatotype is the idea that there are three body compositions that people are predetermined to have: endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph.
Sheldon who was a psychologist and a physician started assigning specific personality and psychological characteristics to them, like endomorphs are placid and mild, mesomorphs are confident and dominant and ectomorphs are introvert.
These ideas have hugely been disproved but the fundamental physical characteristics have stayed with research finding relationships between somatotypes and specific types of sports performance.


let’s first dive deep and see what each body type is:

body types(somatotypes)


chunky, Thick rib cage, Wide and bulky joints, Hips wide (or wider) than clavicles and Short limbs are the characteristics of this type.

The endomorph tends to gain weight and keep it. Their built tends to be little wider and stockier than other types. They may be more muscular, but they often struggle to gain it without significant amounts of body fat(Easy-gainers) but This does not mean you are destined to be overweight. endomorphs tend to be strong but not agilewrestlers and powerlifters mostly fall into this body type category.

how endomorphs should eat?

Because endomorph can put on weight easy, they are better off eating less carbohydrates outside of training to aid control insulin and blood glucose levels and focus on good quality fats and protein. needless to say they should still try to eat plenty of vegetables to reach their fibre and micronutrients needs but Be careful not to under-eat as well since it is not going to work with your metabolism levels and it is going to lower it more.

How endomorphs should train?

they find it easier to change your body composition in both increasing muscle and decreasing fat. Training-wise, high-intensity activities such as HIIT and CrossFit style training are great for them since they are more prone to use type 2 muscle fibers(fast-twitching muscle fibers). Incorporating more general activity and less sitting time into your day can also boost your generally slower metabolism.



Wide clavicles, small waist, Thin joints and Long and round muscle bellies are the characteristics of this type.

The mesomorph has a in-between build that takes the best of both types. They tend to have wide shoulders and a narrow waist, relatively thin joints, and round muscle fibres.
Mesomorphs lose and gain weight and are able to build muscle relatively fast. they tend to have long torso and short limbs. Mesomorphs excel in explosive sports(that is, sports calling both power and speed). The reason for this is in the type of muscle mesomorphs possess. Mesomorphs have a higher percentage of fast-twitch fibres and will gain muscle mass more quickly than any other body type. It’s common to see triathletes with this build. Your goal is to manage your muscle, so you have what you need to produce power without more than you need weighing you down.

how Mesomorphs should eat?

Mesomorphs maintain a healthy body composition by balancing their macronutrients, taking in fairly even amounts of fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates. You can adjust your intake according to training days, taking in more carbohydrates on long endurance days and fewer on shorter or easier days.

how Mesomorphs should Train?

focus on moderate endurance training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and plyometrics. If you’re focusing on longer distances like marathons, you can rely on bodyweight training like Pilates to add strength without unwanted muscle.



Narrow hips and clavicles, Small joints (wrist/ankles), Thin build and Long limbs are the characteristics of this type.

ectomorphs tend to be thin and struggles to gain weight as either body fat or muscle. They can eat piles of food and stay looking the same, even when gaining muscular weight is their biggest goal. People who battle to gain muscle are often known as “hard-gainers“.
Ectomorphs are the body type that is the most resistant to weight and muscle gain because of a fast metabolism. People with this body type have little observable body fat, are only lightly muscled, and have a small frame and joints. Long-distance runners often have ectomorph builds because they have less weight to move over the many miles. Your goal is to optimize your body composition by maintaining healthy muscle tissue to protect your joints and produce power.

how ectomorphs should eat?

Ectomorphs are sometimes more lax about healthy eating because they don’t gain weight easily. But not having visible body fat does not mean you’re healthy or well-fuelled. Eat high-quality fats and aim to get 25 to 30 grams of muscle-making protein with every meal, along with good-quality, whole-food carbohydrates to fuel your body.

how ectomorphs should Train?

Your slighter build can leave you susceptible to injuries. With less muscle, you may also lack power to sprint for the finish. When training, focus on power and resistance training to build strength and protective muscle tissue as well as to build bone.

to put it more simply; endomorphs have bodies that are always rounded and soft, mesomorphs are always square and muscular, and ectomorphs are always thin and fine-boned.

the researchers found that about one-third of strength performance could be predicted by the exerciser’s somatotype.

the body type theory has been criticised by so many since this idea believes personality also is affected by physical structure. The theory that personality is determined by body composition has been wholly disputed and abandoned by the psychological community. now we know that no one is predetermined to either be fat, muscular or thin as a lifelong consequence of prenatal development. although genetics plays a big factor,  other factors especially endocrine system and life stress levels have a big impact as well.
What makes our bodies how they are is an absolutely vast array of environmental and social influences, genetic variations, geographic locations and personal decisions across the entire lifespan.

why is there still discussions about body types or somatotypes?

Because while the notion of a predetermined body composition looks far-fetched through a 21st century lens, many of the physiological markers and observations associated with each somatotype do actually exist in the greater population.
No one exists within purely one somatotype, instead, we are all constantly in a grey area somewhere between all three.
For example, at one extreme end of the spectrum, a person who has easy access to high-quality food, makes habitually healthy diet choices, is free of chronic disease, and consistently trains at progressively higher intensities will always have a more functional, muscular, and leaner body composition. On the flip side, someone who always sits all day and eats a lots of excess calories from junk food will undoubtedly develop the “soft roundness” stated in Sheldon’s original classification of endomorphs.
Research shows that diet(or Eating Habits) and exercise can drastically influence your somatotype but there may be a limit to how dramatically you can change your build. after all as mentioned some variables like genetics are going to stop you at some point.
The human body is highly adaptable and always seeks homeostasis (balance or equilibrium) in its environment. But it can take a while to break old habits that the body has gotten used to. This fact is more than likely what leads many people to resign to the notion that they are stuck in a somatotype. because change is hard.
to summarize everything, each and everyone of us can become Ectomorph, Endomorph and Mesomorph to some extent in some period of his or her life.